Which chart topping bands have managed to squeeze a Yorkshireism or two into one of their hits? This might surprise you…
Of course, none of these are ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’, but regardless, they’ve all managed to get some of our favourite Yorkshire words and phrases out to the wider world, enlightening them as they go.
1. The Pretenders – Brass in Pocket
You can bet your bottom dollar Akron, Ohio born icon Chrissie Hynde never thought she’d be picking up lyrics from little known Yorkshire bands, but their break out single is largely down to exactly that. After hearing one of the lads in Strangeways (the band, not the prison) looking for his ‘brass’ after losing some change, The Pretenders were on their way – ‘Brass In Pocket’ was their first number one.
2. Arctic Monkeys – Mardy Bum
‘Now then, Mardy Bum…’ The opening line to one of Arctic Monkeys’ most loved songs couldn’t be more Yorkshire if Alex Turner and co had donned a couple of flat caps and strutted around the stage with a whippet. The slang for moaning folk is just one of Turner’s infamous Yorkshire peppered lines that has seen the Sheffield quartet take themselves and some local lingo into the stratosphere. It’s just a shame that he now delivers it with a slight Elvis-twang, but then again, he’s always up to ‘summat’.
3. Kaiser Chiefs – I Predict A Riot
A tale of a night out in Leeds featuring Leodiensians and John Smeaton, while talking to ‘thee’? It can be none other than Leeds lads Kaiser Chiefs, whose breakthrough single plagued the airwaves in 2004 and proved so popular they had to release it twice. They’ve since toned down their nods to their hometown, but they wouldn’t be where they are today (being on The Voice, might not be such a good thing I’ll admit) without their nods to Yorkshire.
4. The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Those Scouse lads ripping off the Yorkshire accent I hear you weep? Well, not exactly, but just before The Beatles’ epic ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ kicks into gear, featuring a killer Eric Clapton riff don’t you know, John Lennon bellows out a rather joyous ‘‘Ay Up’. You’d find it hard to argue that the rest of their work lived up to such heights, but it wasn’t a bad way to open one of their best recordings.
5. The White Stripes – Icky Thump
Jack White’s a musical maestro, but who knew his influences spread as far as Yorkshire? The sixth and final album he released with The White Stripes is wonderfully titled ‘Icky Thump’, their own play on the Yorkshire phrase ‘By Ecky Thump’, as popularised overseas by The Goonies. The album, and title track, had a right thump to it as well, with Jack and Meg reaching the peak of their combined powers before the former branched out on his own (and by ‘eck, he comes to Leeds this November).
Doing it Yorkshire Style
After enjoying the more accomplished work above, it’s only fair we give The 3 Yorkshireteers a nod for doing it ‘Yorkshire Style’. They’ve pillaged Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ with typical Yorkshire gusto, giving praise to gravy, John Smith’s and flat caps. Flippin’ ‘eck, we’re chuffed.
Got some chart-topping Yorkshireisms we haven’t featured? Let us know in the comments section below.